Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Carl J. Levine, Jim Hansen, Elizabeth White, Greg Schulz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

The Grand Challenge: Simplifying IT to Unleash Innovation

How the cloud helps businesses spend less time worrying and more time creating

I don't listen to music before I buy it anymore. I don't need to - as long as I'm purchasing it from Amazon. Based on algorithms that crawl my purchasing history, the online retailer knows what I like as well as I do and, dare I say, better than my wife.

A company develops this intimate knowledge by using Big Data to improve the customer experience in an economical and adaptable way. Amazon has integrated this agility into every aspect of its business, from running its warehouses to its revolutionary ability to publish on demand.

Game-changing innovation happens when you simplify everyday processes. But managing a large, traditional application portfolio - however crucial it is to your business - disrupts innovation.

The cloud virtualizes your software, protecting you from the inefficiencies associated with IT. As a result, you spend less time and money introducing and maintaining applications and more resources innovating and advancing your business. Whether you implement a software-designed data center, a hybrid cloud approach or and end-user computing strategy, you're taking the burden off of your own team and into the virtual world.

Conventional application integration is exhausting. Each has to be written, architected and incorporated into the existing structure. Then it must be tested, and tested again. Then you need to install, monitor and archive it, and manage and restore the archives to make sure they work. The whole thing gets complicated fast, so you need specialists who understand the management processes.

Multiply these processes by the thousands - on the high end, healthcare companies typically use 10,000 applications - and it's no wonder IT has a reputation for slowing down business.

More than 80 percent of traditional IT costs are driven by the people and processes involved in managing it. The cloud flips the equation. Eighty to eighty-five percent of the costs instead go toward infrastructure because the cloud automates everything. You're untethering the applications from the computers on which they run.

It's comparable to the impact standardized shipping containers had on modern trade. Every port could work with the same containers, streamlining the process as freighters received and delivered goods across the globe.

The cloud - the virtualized data center - does the same thing with applications. It puts collections of apps in standardized containers, complete with the machines and storage necessary to run them, and automates the management so you're not worrying about things breaking or delivering an unexpected result. Instead of automating thousands of apps individually, you handle entire containers all at once. You can seamlessly move the containers from a damaged machine to a working one. And business goes on.

The ramifications are fundamentally transformative. Innovation speeds up when businesses function unencumbered by the disruptions of traditional IT. Acquiring new technology is no longer a barrier because you're not devoting time to the cycle of writing, architecting, integrating, testing, installing, monitoring, archiving and restoring. You're just creating.

Today you can have a good idea, register as a corporation, get applications, manufacture products and launch an enterprise without leaving your home. The cloud provides global access to the IT necessary to build a business. It's faster, cheaper and lower risk - the three ingredients that propel innovation.

Consider the rise of Netflix. Blockbuster dominated the movie rental business for two decades, making it simple for customers to watch films in their home almost any time they wanted - as long as they were willing to trek to the store.

Netflix took the DVD rental business online and slashed the bottom out of Blockbuster's model. Movies came directly to customers' homes with a reasonably priced monthly subscription and no threat of late fees. As a result, Blockbuster announced last fall it would be shuttering all but 50 franchised stores in the U.S.

But Netflix didn't rest on its laurels. It recognized the threat of iTunes' pioneering streaming business. Netflix bifurcated its model, maintaining its mail-order DVD option while venturing into streaming. It used data gleaned from customers' viewing habits to create original content that aligns with not just what they watch but how they watch. Data revealed viewers liked streaming multiple episodes of TV shows in marathon sessions, prompting Netflix to release in one day entire seasons of dramas such as House of Cards.

This is what the cloud enables. Companies can use technology as a weapon of mass disruption. If you don't take advantage of it, you're at risk of not being able to grow and stay competitive. Rather than let technology happen to you, use it to become the agent of change.

How do you do that?

Software-defined data centers let customers quickly, safely and inexpensively deliver the right applications. A hybrid cloud strategy offers a choice between running applications in a software-defined data center, within the public cloud or another proprietary cloud. And an end-user computing strategy creates a safe, secure and compliant environment for application consumption.

Simplify IT, and you'll unleash innovation.

More Stories By Paul Strong

Paul Strong is VP, Office of the CTO, at VMware, where he helps guide architecture strategy and R&D innovation programs.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, will present a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to max...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
MongoDB Atlas leverages VPC peering for AWS, a service that allows multiple VPC networks to interact. This includes VPCs that belong to other AWS account holders. By performing cross account VPC peering, users ensure networks that host and communicate their data are secure. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jay Gordon, a Developer Advocate at MongoDB, will explain how to properly architect your VPC using existing AWS tools and then peer with your MongoDB Atlas cluster. He'll discuss the secur...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
Niagara Networks exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Interoute has announced the integration of its Global Cloud Infrastructure platform with Rancher Labs’ container management platform, Rancher. This approach enables enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and infrastructure investments. Matthew Finnie, Interoute CTO commented “Enterprises developing and building apps in the cloud and those on a path to Digital Transformation need Digital ICT Infrastructure that allows them to build, test and deploy faster than ever before. The int...
China Unicom exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE FDD, TD-LTE), fixed-line broadband, ICT, data communica...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...